Customers of a popular store in Central New York were left reeling Wednesday after the manager made the shocking announcement it was closing for good.

UPDATE 06/20/24: Business owner Jesse Cornell provided a statement to WIBX regarding the abrupt closure, which can be found at the bottom of this article.


UPDATE 4:36pm: A statement has been provided by store manager Jamie Hughes, which has been added to the bottom of this article.

ORIGINAL STORY: Central New York continues to suffer continuous and massive economic losses as more and more businesses leave the area. It appears some of these closures are not by choice.

The sad news comes shortly after BNY Mellon, a major employer in the area, shuttered its Oriskany Business Park location. Other disappointing closures include Wheelock Rides out of Syracuse and Freihofer's bakery in Verona.

However, the biggest disappointment had come when a seafood restaurant ceased operations just last week after 70-years in business.

Read More: Say Goodbye to Best Fish Fry in CNY

Without warning on Wednesday, Oneida residents were left stunned when another area business suddenly pulled the plug after several years. Cornell's Greenhaus, located at 264 Genesee St., has permanently closed, "effective immediately."

The store specialized in selling hemp and CBD products.

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Jamie Hughes, who was the store's manager, made the announcement to the business' "wonderful and valued customers" before noon:

After many years of serving you and the community of Oneida, we announce with a heavy heart that we are permanently closed, effective immediately.

On behalf of everyone at Cornell's Greenhaus, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the many years of love and support that you have shown to us.

The decision comes after Hughs announced on June 14 that the store was closed for "legal reasons."

Both announcements were made on the private Facebook group Oneida for Change.

Courtesy Jamie Hughes/Cornell's Greenhaus
Courtesy Jamie Hughes/Cornell's Greenhaus

Per business owner Jesse Cornell, "Cornell's Greenhaus LLC follows all guidance and updates from the NYS Office of Cannabis Management," so it appears the forced shutdown came out of the blue and the circumstances may have been beyond their control.

It was later learned that their business was part of a statewide sting of over 100 state businesses, resulting in nearly $30 million in seized inventory.

Read More: Over 100 Businesses Forced to Close in New York

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WIBX has reached out to Mr. Hughes, Mr. Cornell and the NYS Office of Cannabis Management for comment.


 I am a 73 year old businessman with an unblemished record, trying to make an honest living. I sold only CBD products and have a valid Hemp license, allowing me to sell Hemp products.

Recently the NYS OFFICE OF CANNABIS MANAGEMENT seized the majority of my product line and told me I was selling illegal cannabis and locked my building down. I explained to the officer that I was licensed to sell Hemp products and had the certificate of analysis in a book on the counter for all the products in the store. Which states the product may not exceed .30 thc levels by dry weight.

I was told that the cannabis exceeded the .30 thc limit when it is heated, thereby making it illegal. The law according to everyone I speak with doesn't say anything about the exceeding the .30 limit when heated. I was shocked to hear that they were confiscating my products and was never informed of any changes in the regulations.

Had I had been informed I would have conformed to the new regulations. I am and always have been a law-abiding citizen and would think that any changes in law or regulations should be sent to business owner trying to maintain an honest business. I heard that the governor said that 141 illegal cannabis shop were closed at the same time I was shut down.

I wonder how many other honest business people are included in that number! I know of at least 1. Their zealous[ness] to create large numbers of seizures has injured my business and reputation.

I have another store and removed the questionable items from the shelves the same day they raided me in Oneida. I have suffered several thousand dollars of loss from this unnecessary action. I took pride in operating what I believed to be a legal shop, across from the State Police Station in Oneida.

The action is like setting up a new highway speed zone without signs and ticketing people unaware of the change. I guess the large number of seizures and closures of shop is more important than making sure that business people know that changes are being made.

I am not perfect but I'm no criminal. I'm waiting for a hearing date, but irreparable damage has been done." 


"From a business point of view, this has been a terrible thing to see occur in the City of Oneida. One more small business being pulled away from the community to which hearing from many people of their heartfelt condolences shows that we were loved.

From a personal point of view, normally with any business that a person would see their job terminated that the first thing would be to say negative things about the business and the employees etc. However, I do not have one negative thing to say about Cornell’s Greenhaus what so ever. In fact, I thank them for basically helping me through a dark time before I came to their employment. If it was not for the store I would not be where I am today to give this statement.

The owner and colleagues for Cornell's Greenhaus are never ones to steer anyone wrong and I had ever felt uncomfortable with what their business was, I would not have offered my services to them.

For me, my time with the company has been wonderful to work with and getting to assist customers to the best of my abilities with my charm and humor was a pleasant experience. The day when our store was visited by the police and the events that followed really shook me up mentally.

To begin with 4 officers to then expand to 12 to 14 officers in a small store seizing and taken items out of the store was safe to say a really scary thing to experience, especially as well when being the only employee present while communicating with the owner via phone calls and texts to work with the authorities.

I felt scared and since then, a week after the store being forced to shut down and today (June 19th, 2024) being told by the owner that the business is be closed and that I would be basically left off, was something to which has not been helpful to me mentally.

My mind would have been racing with so many thoughts to what's next? What has happened? Am I to blame? Safe to say this last week has been a raw experience for me. Yes, I have had the support of the Owner to reassure to me that I am not to blame and the love from both my Husband and my wonderful friend to make sure that I am ok, but I won’t lie when I say that this would be a week of 2024 that will haunt me for a while."

This article will be updated should the NYS Office of Cannabis Management comment. At this time, WIBX's attempts at reaching the department have been unsuccessful.

In all, it's disappointing to see another hit to Central New York's economy due to another well-liked businesses permanently closing without warning.

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